I've seen almost every aircraft land back gear first to evenly distribute the landing load between more struts.

However, I recently saw this video of a NASA Super Guppy Nose-Wheel land gear first at Mansfield-Lahm Regional Airport:


I couldn't think of any reason a pilot would want to do this so is there any reason as to why they would want to land nose first opposed to the conventional way that I don't know of?

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    $\begingroup$ You are assuming that it was on purpose. $\endgroup$ Dec 22, 2019 at 19:02
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    $\begingroup$ I‘m with Michael. And maybe the angle in which the video has been shoot is deceiving. Could it be, that all wheels nearly touched at the same time? $\endgroup$
    – Peter
    Dec 22, 2019 at 19:33

1 Answer 1


That's pretty much how landings turn out on Super Guppy. The aim is to make a three point landing (main and nose wheels touch down simultaneously), but the Super Guppy is a tricky plane to land. Earlier versions were tricky on takeoff too: during takeoff roll their main gear tended to lift off before the nose wheel, this, ofcourse is far from optimal...

This article will give you a nice briefing on this beautifully weird plane (see page three for stuff about landing).

The ones still flying are fitted with Boeing 707 nose gear, which is shorter, sturdier and placed further behing than the original one. Despite this modification, the aerodynamics of the plane are such that it just wants to plant the nose wheel down first. Searching "Super Guppy landing" on Youtube will yield allmost only nosewheel landings.


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